'60s icon Ronnie Spector dead at 78

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Musician Ronnie Spector has died following a brief battle with cancer, according to her family. She was 78.

“Ronnie lived her life with a twinkle in her eye, a spunky attitude, a wicked sense of humor and a smile on her face. She was filled with love and gratitude,” a statement from the family said.

Spector, alongside her sister Estelle Bennett and cousin Nedra Talley, scored hits with pop masterpieces like “Baby, I Love You,” “Walking in the Rain,” “I Can Hear Music” and “Be My Baby,” which was co-written by Spector, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich.

Ronnie Spector died Wednesday after a brief battle with cancer.
(Photo by Jordi Vidal/Redferns)

“We weren’t afraid to be hot. That was our gimmick,” Spector wrote in her memoir.

“When we saw The Shirelles walk on stage with their wide party dresses, we went in the opposite direction and squeezed our bodies into the tightest skirts we could find. Then we’d get out on stage and hike them up to show our legs even more.”

The group released their first album, “Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica,” in 1964. Five of the 12 songs landed on the U.S. Billboard charts.

The Ronettes perform on stage in 1963.
(Photo by Gilles Petard/Redferns)

Spector had a large influence on Hollywood. The song, “Be My Baby” was used in many films and TV shows including, “Dirty Dancing,” “Mean Streets,” “Baby Mama,” “Moonlighting” and “The Wonder Years.”

The Ronnettes broke up in 1967, but Spector kept creating music.

The Ronnettes broke up sometime around 1967, but Spector kept making music.
(Photo by Tom Sheehan/Sony Music Archive via Getty Images)

Spector is survived her husband, Jonathan Greenfield, and two sons, Jason and Austin.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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